In the past, the ability to reverse paralysis seemed like a miracle. Now, that miracle is closer to becoming a reality. In the next few years, people with spinal cord injury in West Virginia and elsewhere might be able to reclaim control of their legs and start walking again.
Researchers recently implanted a prosthetic into paralyzed monkeys’ spinal cords and discovered that the monkeys were able to regain the use of their paralyzed lower limbs just six days after they initially suffered their injuries. This was possible without the monkeys’ undergoing any training. The prosthetic that was implanted is a wireless neural device.
The system reads real-time signals from a person’s brain and works directly on the patient’s limbs. As a result, no expensive exoskeletons are needed. In addition, the muscles in the patient’s legs do not need to be externally stimulated to get the patient to walk again. As a result, patients in the future may be able to utilize the prosthetic at home without the supervision of a doctor.
Spinal cord injury patients in West Virginia may remain hopeful that researchers will be able to help them to walk again. Until then, they must cope with the paralysis stemming from their injuries. In some situations, these injuries were the result of another person’s carelessness, such as the negligence of another driver. In such a case, the injured party may decide to file a personal injury suit against the driver responsible for his or her injury, seeking damages. Monetary compensation might help to cover the spinal cord injury victim’s health care costs and other injury-related losses.
Source: singularityhub.com, “Artificial Spinal Cord Wirelessly Restores Walking in Paralyzed Monkeys“, Shelly Fan, Nov. 23, 2016